Oral historian Pamela Brown Lavitt interviewed Bernice Rind on June 5, 2001 in Seattle, Washington as part of the Jewish Womenâs Archive "Weaving Women's Words" project.
A child virtuoso on harp and long-standing champion of the Seattle Symphony, Bernice Rindâs musical career began at age seven. At age 11 she debuted professionally and retired from touring at age 23 when her mother grew ill and Bernice longed for a more "normal" life. A Seattle native whose parents emigrated from the Isle of Rhodes, she attended both Ezra Bessaroth Congregation (Sephardic) cofounded by her father, and the Ashkenazic Reform synagogue, Temple de Hirsch Sinai, (co-founded by the Rind family). In 1949, Bernice married Martin Rind and they raised four children, combining their Sephardic and Ashkenazic heritages. A staunch supporter of the arts in Seattle and Jewish education, Bernice was the first Jewish president of the Seattle Symphony Womenâs Association Board, one of the founders of the High School of Jewish Studies, and while on the board of the American Friends of Hebrew University negotiated a Statement of Understanding between the University of Washington and HU for which she was awarded the Torch of Learning.
In the early 2000s, the Jewish Women's Archive conducted oral history interviews with 30 Jewish women living in Baltimore and another 30 in Seattle. Born in the early decades of the 20th century, these women lived through decades of political, social, and economic upheaval, as well as dramatic changes in expectations and opportunities for women. Doctors and lawyers, teachers and saleswomen, judges and social workers, homemakers and community volunteers, the narrators represent a wide range of backgrounds, affiliations, and experiences of American Jewish women. To find out more and to see the online exhibits based on this project, visit Jewish Women's Archive/baltimore and Jewish Women's Archive/seattle
The complete audio recordings and transcripts of the interviews are available on the Internet Archive.
This project was made possible in part by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Brenda Brown Lipitz Rever Foundation, and the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, Inc. In Baltimore, the project was a collaboration with the Jewish Museum of Maryland; in Seattle, with the Museum of History and Industry.